Inside Michael Bolton's Relationship With Kenny G

Kenny G wasn't happy in 1990. He was engaged for eight shows at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles, every one of them sold out despite dismissive reviews (such as the one in the Los Angeles Times). But in the middle of that run, one of his shows was canceled — and he wasn't the one who canceled it. His opening act, Michael Bolton, had called off the performance on account of a lost voice — the result of late-night flights from the Bahamas to Connecticut to Los Angeles in short succession.

"And I was really upset that he canceled it," Kenny recalled for HuffPost Live years later. He confronted Bolton, telling him that he should nurse his voice and avoid late nights and heavy travel until their engagement was over. "He didn't like that," said Kenny. "He didn't like what I said, so he said some things that were not nice."

For some musical collaborations, a spat like that could be the breaking point, the beginning of an ongoing feud. But in telling that story, Kenny was quick to add that he and Bolton mended fences. "That's the kind of thing that Michael and I would argue about, would be conceptually what to do," he said, noting that they both thought they were right. A tiff like that didn't stop Bolton from introducing Kenny as "the world's greatest living saxophonist" during their run at the Universal Amphitheater, or Kenny from telling The Washington Post that he could never sing like Bolton.

Kenny G introduced Michael Bolton to Nicollette Sheridan

Michael Bolton and Kenny G came together for a number of noted performances during the 1990s. Bolton's 1991 single "Missing You Now" hit No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1992, and the music video (via YouTube) featured Kenny and his soprano saxophone. Another of Bolton's songs, "How Am I Supposed To Live Without You," let the two make an earlier splash at the 1990 Grammy Awards (also via YouTube). Professionally, the collaborations with Bolton were just one of several team-ups with notable vocalists for Kenny, who told The Washington Post in 1993 that he preferred to be led by the singer in such duets.

Personally, the two men were friends and socialized away from the stage, frequenting the same parties. It was at one such party in 1991 that Kenny unexpectedly played matchmaker when he brought another friend along, actress Nicollette Sheridan. When she met Bolton through Kenny, she told TV Guide (via Knots Landing), sparks didn't fly immediately, and the press claimed that they were dating before they actually were. But the relationship would become among the most significant for both of them. Bolton and Sheridan dated for three years, 1992 to 1995, before amicably breaking up (per People). Nearly a decade later, they would revive their love affair and announce their engagement in 2006, though they called it off two years later.

Who had it right on hair?

The 1990s were the peak for both Michael Bolton and Kenny G's commercial success, but they've remained active as performers. They've also remained friends. Kenny has shared memories of the two of them together on social media (via Facebook), both professional and personal. But he's also used Facebook to needle Bolton over a point of competition between them – who wore long hair better.

It's a "feud" that Kenny was happy to bring up with Huffpost Live years after their prime. Not only did he claim to wear long hair better, but he also joked that Bolton's decision to shear his locks did his career in. "I told him. I said, 'Your career's gonna go down the toilet as soon as you cut that hair, bro.' And I was right!" He added that Bolton agreed that the saxophonist had the better mane, but Kenny conceded that Bolton looked better than he would if he cut his hair.

The battle of the hairdos became a piece of 2017's "Michael Bolton's Big Sexy Valentine's Day Special" on Netflix, where the real Bolton and Kenny (played by Andy Sandberg) spar over locks and notes. The real Kenny provided Sandberg's saxophone sounds (per Bustle), and he got in on his friend's act as a janitor with a low opinion of the competition.